HUNTINGTON, W.VA. ---
The University of New Mexico men's soccer team earned the upset over No. 5 Charlotte (11-3-2, 7-1 C-USA) in the 2016 Conference USA Semifinals on Friday afternoon. The Lobos (11-6-2, 4-3-1 C-USA) claimed a 2-1 victory over the 49ers to advance to the finals round on Sunday at 12 p.m. (MT) where they will face the winner of the seventh-seed Old Dominion Monarchs and the third-seed FIU Panthers.
Charlotte entered the tournament as the number one seed, having lost just two games all season, one in conference. The fifth-seed Lobos claim their first C-USA Tournament win in the past three years in which UNM has been in the conference. Prior to Friday's game, Charlotte had allowed just seven goals all season and had only allowed two goals in a single game on one occasion.
The squads were evenly matched from the beginning as it wasn't until the 25th minute that the first shot was registered. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half as the teams went into break 0-0.
At the half, Charlotte led in shots 6-1 and had posted three corner kicks while UNM had zero.
The Lobos turned up the intensity in the second half, taking a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute. A quick, backward pass from the right found senior Chris Wehan
in the middle of the box where he quickly punched it into the top of the net for the go-ahead goal. UNM is now 11-0-1 when scoring first this season. See Wehan's goal here:
Wehan's goal gave the Lobos a little security, but UNM kept attacking. In the 70th minute, senior Niko Hansen
notched his league-high 11th goal of the season to put the Lobos up 2-0. Senior Chris Gurule
drove the field and found Hansen just in front of the box. Hansen drove about five feet and shot from 17 yards out for the insurance goal, making UNM 5-0-1 when scoring two goals. Watch Hansen's goal here:
Seven minutes later the 49ers' Daniel Bruce put one in the net to reduce the deficit, but it was the last goal of the match as UNM claimed the win, 2-1.
Overall, Charlotte outshot the Lobos 11-4 and held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks. Charlotte posted five shots on goal to just three for UNM.
In goal, junior Jason Beaulieu
tallied four saves for the Lobos while Elliot Panicco saved just one.
UNM will face the winner of the second semifinal game, featuring the seventh-seed Old Dominion Monarchs and the third-seed FIU Panthers, in the 2016 Conference USA Final on Sunday at 12 p.m. (MT). Live stats and video will be available, stay tuned to GoLobos.com for details as they become available.